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Twixt Trailer: Francis Ford Coppola’s Vampire Blues

There are two ways to approach the trailer for Twixt, Francis Ford Coppola’s Comic-Con-baiting, self-financed descent into indie-horror insanity. One is through rose-colored glasses, telling yourself repeatedly that this tale of a bloated, ponytailed Val Kilmer as a hack horror writer investigating a small-town murder with the help of Elle Fanning as a My Chemical Romance fan and Bruce Dern as a HoneyBaked ham isn’t a note-for-ridiculous-note mash-up of Barton Fink and this trailer for a video game made in 1998.

The other, more preferable option is to do what Francis himself no doubt does and view it through rosé-colored glasses. Suddenly, the preposterous transmogrifies into the sublime and Twixt appears as a breathtakingly brave bungee-jump into a carnival-ride of incautious creativity. Thrill to Tom Waits’ head-scratchingly blunt narration (“There was, once upon a time, a town not far from a big city.” Demonstrably true!). Gasp at the sight of Val Kilmer’s leathery, tumefied visage as he Skypes with his ex-wife (played by his actual ex-wife, Joanne Whalley), struggles with opening sentences (“There was no fog on the lake”), and makes not unreasonable demands (“I’m not gonna write another witch book and that’s it!”). And delight at all of the bizarro filmmaking decisions made by a bearded senior citizen with a mantelpiece full of Oscars, a basement full of wine, and a spleen full of not giving a fuck, including Edgar Allen Poe’s face transposed on the moon and a goth biker teen named Flamingo. In an era in which his peers are reduced to making children’s films or making man-children cry, it warms our hearts to know that Francis Ford Coppola is still out there asking the tough questions. Questions like “What are vampires but witches who suck blood?”

What indeed, Francis. What indeed.